F1 changes Imola schedule to avoid clash with royal funeral

13 April 2021 - 15:30 By Reuters
Esteban Ocon of France in the Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 leads a line of cars during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 1 2020 in Imola, Italy.
Esteban Ocon of France in the Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 leads a line of cars during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on November 1 2020 in Imola, Italy.
Image: Joe Portlock/Getty Images

Formula One will shift practice and qualifying for this weekend's second race of the season at Imola in Italy to avoid having cars on the track during the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip.

The sport and governing FIA said on Tuesday that qualifying for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will move forward to noon-1pm GMT (2pm-3pm local) as a mark of respect for the royal who died last Friday aged 99.

Final practice will be brought forward to 9am-10am GMT to comply with regulations that state there must be a two-hour gap between the sessions.

Friday times have also been changed in accordance with rules requiring final practice to start no less than 19 hours after the end of second practice.

The funeral at Windsor Castle starts with a national minute's silence at 3pm local time, or 2pm GMT.

Formula One will hold a minute's silence ahead of qualifying “as an opportunity for people to show their respects”.

Seven of the 10 Formula One teams, as well as the sport itself, are British-based, including champions Mercedes, and Prince Philip was president-in-chief of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) for 42 years.

Mercedes' seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, who leads the championship, was awarded a knighthood in December's UK honours list.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth attended the first world championship Formula One grand prix at Silverstone in 1950.

Other sporting events in soccer, rugby and horse racing in Britain have been rescheduled to avoid clashing with the funeral.


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